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Clinton 16, America 14, United States 12, Us 11, George W. Bush 10, Msnbc 10, Bill Clinton 8, U.s. 8, Bush 8, Obama 7, Florida 4, Port-au-prince 4, U.n. 3, United Nations 3, United 3, Clinton Bush 3, Harold Ford 3, California 3, Steven 2, Laura 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC News Live    News/Business. Live news coverage,  
   breaking news and current news events. New.  

    January 16, 2010
    11:00 - 12:00pm EST  

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saturday," 11:00 a.m. on the east coast, 8:00 a.m. out west. and we have gotten the two-minute warning from the white house that three presidents will be gathering around that podium any minute now as the result of the end of about a 30-minute meeting inside the oval office. of course, president obama having met with former president george w. bush as well as former president bill clinton to talk about how they will be spearheading all of the humanitarian aid relief efforts and fund-raising efforts, as well. something like that was done, of course, in the wake of the asian tsunami with this president bush's father, president george h.w. bush and president clinton. and you see these three presidents coming to the podium. i will be watching this with our msnbc analyst harold ford jr., who has stayed here and is joining me right now, but let's all take a listen to these presidents here in the rose garden of the white house. >> good morning, everybody. now, in times of great challenge in our country and around the world, americans have always
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come together to lend a hand and to serve others and to do what's right. that's what the american people have been doing in recent days with their extraordinary generosity and contributions to the haitian people. at this moment, we're moving forward with one of the largest relief efforts in our history, to save lives and to deliver relief that averts an even larger catastrophe. the two leaders with me today will ensure that this is matched by a historic effort that extends beyond our government, because america has no greater resource than the strength and the compassion of the american people. we just met in the oval office, an office they both know well, and i'm pleased that president george w. bush and president bill clinton have agreed to lead a major fund-raising effort for relief. the clinton/bush haiti fund. on behalf of the american people, i want to thank both of you for returning to service and
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leading this urgent mission. this is a model that works. after the terrible tsunami in asia, president bush turned to president clinton and the first president bush to lead a similar fund. that effort raised substantial resources for the victims of that disaster, money that helped save lives, deliver aid and rebuild communities. and that's exactly what the people of haiti desperately need right now. every day that goes by, we learn more about the horrifying scope of this catastrophe -- destruction and suffering that defies comprehension, entire communities buried under mountains of concrete, families sleeping in the streets, injured, desperate for care, many thousands feared dead. that's why thousands of american personnel, civilian and military, are on the scene working to distribute clean drinking water and food and medicine and thousands of tons of emergency food supplies are arriving every day.
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it will be difficult. it is an enormous challenge to distribute this aid quickly and safely in a place that has suffered such destruction. that's what we're focused on now, working closely with our partners, the haitian government, the united nations and many organizations and nations, friends from argentina and france, from dominican republic and brazil and countries all around the world. and secretary hillary clinton will be in haiti today to meet with president preval and continue our close coordination with his government. but we also know that our longer-term effort will not be measured in days and weeks. it will be measured in months and even years, and that's why it's so important to enlist and sustain the support of the american people. that's why it's so important to have a point of coordination for all the support that extends beyond our government. here at home, presidents bush and clinton will help the american people to do their
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part, because responding to a disaster must be the work of all of us. indeed, those wrenching scenes of devastation remind us not only of our common humanity, but also of our common responsibilities. this time of suffering can and must be a time of compassion. as the scope of the destruction became apparent, i spoke to each of these gentlemen, and they each asked the same simple question -- how can i help? in the days ahead, they'll be asking everyone what they can do, individuals, corporations, ngos and institutions, and i urge everyone who wants to help to visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org. we're fortunate to have the service of these two leaders. president bush led america's response to the asian tsunami, aid and relief that prevented even greater loss of life in the months after that disaster, and his administration's efforts to
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fight against hiv/aids in africa treated more than 10 million men, women and children. as president, bill clinton helped restore democracy in haiti. as a private citizen, he has helped to save the lives of millions of people around the world, and as the united nations special envoy to haiti, he understands intimately the daily struggles and needs of the haitian people. and by coming together in this way, these two leaders send an unmistakable message to the people of haiti and to the people of the world. in these difficult hours, america stands united. we stand united with the people of haiti, who have shown such incredible resilience, and we will help them to recover and to rebuild. you know, yesterday we witnessed a small but remarkable display of that determination. some of you may have seen it, haitians with little more than the clothes on their back marched peacefully through a ruined neighborhood. and despite all their loss and all their suffering, they sang songs of faith and songs of
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hope. these are the people who we're called upon to help. those are the hopes that we're committed to answering. that's why the three of us are standing together today. and with that, i would invite each president to say a few words. i'm going to start with president bush. >> i join president obama in expressing my sympathy for the people of haiti. i commend the president for his swift and timely response to the disast disaster. i am so pleased to answer the call to work alongside president clinton to mobilize the compassion of the american peop people. like most americans, laura and i had been following the television coverage from haiti. our hearts are broken when we see the scenes of little
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children struggling without a mom or a dad or the bodies in the streets or the physical damage of the earthquake. the challenges are a mess, but there's a lot of devoted people leading the relief effort, from government personnel who have deployed into the disaster zone to the faith-based groups that have made haiti a calling. most effective way for americans to help the people of haiti is to contribute money. that money will go to organizations on the ground, who will be able to effectively spend it. i know a lot of people want to send blankets or water. just send your cash. one of the things that the president and i will do is to make sure your money is spent wisely. as the president obama said, you can look us up on
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clintonbushhaitifund.org. the haitian people have got a tough journey. yet, it's amazing how terrible tragedies can bring out the best of the human spirit. we've all seen that firsthand when american citizens responded to the tsunami or to katrina or to the earthquake in pakistan, and president clinton and i are going to work to tap that same spirit of giving to help our brothers and sisters in the caribbean. toward the end of my presidency, laura made a trip down to haiti to look at the emergency plan for aids relief programs down there. i remember clearly her coming back and telling me about the energy and optimism of the people of haiti. there's just an unbelievable spirit amongst the haitian people. and while that earthquake destroyed a lot, it didn't destroy their spirit.
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so, the people of haiti will recover and rebuild, and as they do, they know they'll have a friend in the united states of america. mr. president, thank you for giving me the chance to serve. >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> thanks. >> first, i want to thank president obama for asking president bush and me to do this and for what i believe has been a truly extraordinary response on the part of the american government. because i've been working down there for nearly a year as the u.n. special envoy, i've been in constant touch with our people through the u.n. on the ground, and you know we lost a lot of our people there, the largest loss of life in the history of the united nations on a single day. the united states has been there from the beginning, and the
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military has been great, the response by the state department and aid has been great. i just can't say enough about it, and the people in haiti know it, and i'm grateful. secondly, i'd like to thank president bush for agreeing to do this and for the concern he showed for haiti. you know, before this happened, my foundation worked with the pepfar people on the aids problems in haiti and i saw how great they were and what they did and how many lives they saved. finally, let me say that i don't have to read the website because they did, but i want to say something about this. right now, all we need to do is get food and medicine and water and a secure place for them to be, but when we start the rebuilding effort, we want to do
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what i did with the president's father in the tsunami area. we want to be a place where people can know their money will be well spent, where we will ensure the ongoing integrity of the process. and we want to stay with this over the long run. my job with the u.n., basically, is not at all in conflict with this, because i'm sort of the outside guy. my job is to work with the donor nations, the international agencies, the businesspeople around the world to try to get them to invest there, the nongovernmental organizations, the haitian community. i believe before this earthquake, haiti had the best chance in my lifetime to escape its history, a history that hillary and i have shared a tiny part of. i still believe that. the haitians want to just amend their development plans to take account of what's happened in port-au-prince and west, figure out what they've got to do about that and then go back to
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implementing it, but it's going to take a lot of help and a long time. so, i'm just grateful that president bush wants to help. i've already figured out how i can get him to do some things that he didn't sign on for. again, i have no words to say what i feel. when you -- i was in those hotels that collapsed. i had meals with people who are dead. the cathedral church that hillary and i sat in 34 years ago is a total rubble. but what these men have said is true, it is still one of the most remarkable, unique places i have ever been, and they can cancan't can escape their history and build a future if we do our part, and thanks to president
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obama for allowing us to do that. >> these gentlemen are going to do an extraordinary job, but really, what they're going to be doing is just tapping into the incredible generosity, the ingenuity, the can-do spirit of the american people in helping our neighbors in need. so, i want to thank each of them, not only for being here today, but what i know is going to be an extraordinary effort. i want to make sure that everybody got that website one more time. obviously, we're just standing it up, but it will immediately give people a means to contact our offices. www.clintonbushhaitifund.org. and i just want to amplify one thing that was said. we were talking in the back. in any extraordinary catastrophe like this, the first several weeks are just going to involve
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getting immediate relief on the ground, and there are going to be some tough days over the next several days. people are still trying to figure out how to organize themselves. there's going to be fear, anxiety, a sense of desperation in some cases. i've been in contact with president preval. i've been talking to the folks on the ground. we are going to be making slow and steady progress, and the key now is for everybody in haiti to understand that there is going to be sustained help on the way, but what these gentlemen are going to be able to do is when the news media starts seeing its attention drift to other things, but there's still enormous needs on the ground. these two gentlemen of extraordinary stature, i think, are going to be able to help ensure that these efforts are
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sustained, and that's why it's so important and that's why i'm so grateful that they agreed to do it. thank you, gentlemen. >> thank you. >> and there you heard some gracious and poignant comments there from three members of a most exclusive club there, those who have occupied the office of president of the united states, as they talk about their coordinated efforts in the days and weeks to come to try and raise money in humanitarian efforts which will be done via a website, www.clintonbushhaitifund.org. i'm joined right now by msnbc analyst harold ford jr., and i want to talk about the powerful picture that's painted from the world perspective when you see three presidents saying we're jumping in, rolling up our sleeves to help. >> it is a visible manifestation of the resiliency and a statement on how remarkable our political system is, when three presidents, two argued -- they've all argued with one another at some level some on party issues, philosophical, substantive issues, but how we
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rally as a nation. that picture shows, inspires us all to come together to not only give to the fund that president clinton and president bush will inaugurate and launch, but to the red cross and other organizations that are on the ground delivering aid, delivering immediate relief to the millions of people across that great country who are suffering. it was good to hear president bush's voice. hadn't heard it in a while, as we both commented. and in a lot of ways, this is the first time, at least that i can think of, that he's been called upon to lead a national effort like this. >> a year, mm-hmm. >> granted, whoep there are not many efforts that have to be led like this, but this is the first he will draw with president clinton. his father did, obviously, after the tsunami. >> with great success with president clinton. >> and you have to think that they will generate the same success that president bush's father did with president clinton. i know i will give this afternoon. i hope we all do. >> i was just thinking, i'm going to do the same when i get off the set here. but when you look at the challenges ahead, president obama was by no means
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idealistic. i mean, he left this news conference -- or rather, this announcement -- by saying it's going to take a little bit. it's going to be days and weeks to get the logistics coordinated together. so, this is truly a long-term effort. >> the immediate relief will probably take some time. the pictures from our network clearly spell out the massive devastation and the scale of the devastation, but if you listen to president clinton's remarks, his work over there in the country over the year and his continuous work as president -- or i should say, the work over the years -- he says they were given the tools, some were rearmed with building or rebuilding their country. it's now going to take more help and more time, which means patience. as we said from the outset of this show, america's looked to lead it at this moment, and we'll be tested, and it's great that a republican president and a democratic president can come together in the face of challenges to humanity on behalf of america to answer. >> and great of you, too, harold ford, jr., to stick around.
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>> not like this. this was easy. >> well, i do appreciate your being with us. thank you very much. tomorrow on "meet the press," former presidents george w. bush and bill clinton will unveil their plans for relief in haiti, and they're going to let you know how you can help. so, check your local nbc listings. in a moment, new, dramatic video of rescues from haiti. stick around for these. [ male announcer ] this is america. and this is our cheese. kraft singles. american cheese. only one nation could create it. and that nation is...america. a nation of dreamers, try-harders, doers. try doing this with roquefort. it's made with milk, never oil like some other slices. it is the culmination of the american dream, all wrapped up in individual slices. kraft singles. the american cheese. it relieves seven symptoms. visine totality multi-symptom. now reduce the red; bathe the dry and gritty; soothe the itch, irritated, burning and watery.
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that's our policy. find out how much you could save. call us directly at... president obama announcing just minutes ago that former presidents bill clinton and george w. bush will take charge in the fund-raising efforts for the earthquake victims in haiti, and together, they will lead the clinton/bush haiti fund. right now, secretary of state hillary clinton is headed for haiti on board a plane full of supplies for embassy staff and for haitians. on that plane, 100 cases of water and another 100 cases of rations. meanwhile, as the secretary of state heads for port-au-prince, the president of haiti, rene preval, is now asking international donors to
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coordinate their efforts better. well, today, experts say that the window for recovering earthquake survivors is closing, but today we are still seeing miracles happen. this video just into us, into our newsroom a few minutes ago. you're looking at rescue workers who crowded on to a pile of rubble and they began scraping away, and then minutes later, the arm and the face there of a 36-year-old nurse emerged. you see her right there. this is compelling video we just got. she was covered in discuss there, clearly alive. now you see her out there. brazilian camera crews captured the entire rescue on tape. that is that 36-year-old nurse who is now out and receiving treatment. can you imagine looking at this rubble what her life was like for the past four days? it is not all that common we get this kind of dramatic video, but once again, you see it right there. 36 years old. she has been rescued. she is alive. i'll tell you, it's the kind of thing that pulls tears to your
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eyes. incredible video right there. speaking of incredible stories, an australian rescue crew pulled a 16-month-old child from the rubble in haiti. this is video shot yesterday. another one bringing tears on our eyes, because that crew was about to film an interview when they heard that little girl screaming from under the rubble. >> it was very emotional, honestly. i, you know, i actually thought that it was my own baby that i was pulling out of there, and she did a great job, because she stayed alive for three days, i mean, with no food, no drink. all she needed was a little bit of space to walk out, and -- >> reporter: she walked out? >> and that's what she did. >> reporter: she walked out? >> she reached out to me. she saw the light and walked out for it. >> incredible story there. one of rescuers working with the tv crew said the girl's fighting spirit allowed her to stay alive for 68 hours without food or water. remember, just a 16-month-old toddler there. good news here, she appears to be in very good shape, despite that ordeal. and we just heard from
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presidents obama, clinton and george w. bush, and they say the success of the relief effort will be measured in years and months, certainly not days and weeks. joining me now live, pat buchanan, msnbc political analyst, and karen finney, also an msnbc political analyst. and i want to welcome you both back. let's talk about the challenges ahead for these three in coordinating this humanitarian crisis, because it is incredibly large. pat, to you, what do you see as being the first thing when they get in there and roll up their sleeves, what do they do? >> i think their function will really be to oversee this operation, i think, and to raise funds for it. and it's really a good thing, quite frankly to see especially george w. bush re-emerge after a sabbatical, if you will, of a year. and in this environment and in this context, which i think is an extraordinarily positive one. i commend president obama for bringing these former presidents in. i think the idea of the two presidents, alex, is to keep the
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focus of the nation to the degree we can when we start moving on to other things upon this tragedy and upon this disaster. and i really think the president himself, who is out there for the fourth day in a row, is really on top of this thing and out in front, and i think in this one, he represents the whole american people. >> and karen, the president having been out there in front, as pat saying, every day taking to the podiums and updating not only this country, but the world on the american humanitarian efforts there. what kind of lessons do you think this president learned from the past? >> well, i hope what he learned is that in times of crisis, you know, we need our president to come out and comfort us a little bit. we want to know, you know, the facts of the matter and what's happening, but we also want to know that someone's taking care of things. and i think it was very -- it was comforting to see the president. frankly, it was comforting to see president bush and president clinton standing with president obama, because we know that it's going to be a massive long-term
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effort, as they said, to marshal the resources we're going to need. and i think it really speaks to the best of america in terms of our unity in a time of crisis and our core value at the heart of all of it, at the end of the day, when you put the partisan politics aside, you know, we're going to reach out to our fellow man and try to help. >> and you know, pat, the two most significant responses that come to my mind, the successes of the tsunami and the way the united states got involved in that versus what happened with hurricane katrina. do you think that is foremost in this president's mind as he looks to tap these two as they move forward? >> well, i think it's got to be on everybody's mind because the perception then was that the president of the united states was not on top of it and was not out in front of this effort. and the president of whatever party is sort of the embodiment, the personification of national sovereignty. he is the leader of all of us. he is the president of all of us in this role, and i think all of us want to see a united front,
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especially when the american people, or a significant slice, were really suffering down there in new orleans and the television cameras were on it. so, there's no doubt -- and i don't think there's anything wrong with it -- that the president's men and the president himself, i'm sure, when they saw this happening, say look, we don't want something like that. let us get on top of this, get out in front of this and bring as much to bear as we can of world attention and national attention. and again, i commend the president. this is the fourth day in a row we've seen him, alex. >> karen, do you expect this president will be immune from criticism in part because this is an effort that's under way on foreign soil as opposed to domestic soil? do you think americans are going to have a little bit more of a generous spirit as they look at how we handle haiti? >> well, i think what they're going to see, though, is an effective, efficient, quick response, and that's what you want to see. part of what was so devastating around katrina was the feeling that our government just failed to get in there in time and help people with resources.
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i think what we're seeing, although there are still some challenges on the ground in terms of getting a lot of supplies directly where they're needed, at least what we're seeing is a quick, sort of effective, efficient response in terms of trying to get the airports back open, trying to get aircraft carriers down there, trying to get medical supplies and water. so, i think the president will ultimately get credit for that, for directing those resources in a very targeted way, and i think that's, again, that's what you want to see. that's what you expect of america, though. >> well, karen finney, great job stepping in and being one half of the boys today. it was pretty good. >> any time, any time, alex. >> we'll tell peter, but we missed him. good to have you and pat as well. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. still ahead, more on the report from haiti and the help.
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and i'm pleased that president george w. bush and president bill clinton have
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agreed to lead a major fund-raising effort for relief. the clinton/bush haiti fund. >> that word from the president just a short time ago, announcing former presidents bill clinton and george w. bush will take the lead in fund-raising for haiti quake victims. and authorities in haiti say as many as 200,000 people are now dead after that earthquake and some 40,000 victims have been buried in mass graves. among the survivors, there are between 2 million and 3 million people in need of food, water, shelter and health care. the u.s. is mounting a major military effort. the pentagon says 4,200 american forces are now in haiti, and by monday, that number will be more than 10,000. right now, secretary of state hillary clinton is on a plane headed to haiti to inspect the damage and relief efforts. and for more on all this, i'm joined live from port-au-prince by nbc's jay gray. jay, good morning to you. what's the latest from there in the airfield? >> reporter: good morning, alex. you can hear the roar of the helicopters behind me as they continue to gather aid and take
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it out to those who need it the most. we've seen water loaded onto these choppers, of course, food and medical supplies. we've also learned within the last hour about something going on here at the airport. as the aid continues to pour in from around the world and then move out, as we just talked about, they've also now set up a medical tent here, and through the u.s. embassy where there is a triage, they are bringing some of the most desperate patients here to the airport, where they are being treated. and then we know at least a dozen yesterday were flown from here to homestead air force base. that's a process that, again, is going to continue today, as they've set up this medevac tent here and they're bringing in some of those most seriously injured with ties to the u.s. and flying them to florida. four disaster teams have been assembled here, one surgery team. they are heading out to set up a field hospital. we talked a lot about those who died in the earthquake. we've talked about the survivors. what we haven't talked a lot about is those that are seriously injured. that is a growing problem and something that these teams are trying to deal with right now,
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alex. >> okay. so, you see this -- how effective, though, how smooth are the operations there, jay, being able to get people out of there, air-lifted back to the united states? i mean, is that happening pretty constantly? >> reporter: no, no. it's a very rare, select group of people that are being sent out. yesterday, one plane with a dozen people. so, that's something that's not moving as smoothly as the effort to deliver this food, these medical supplies and the water. that's moving like clockwork. the problem here is that they don't have enough aid, enough choppers to get to the thousands, the hundreds of thousands of people who need it right now. so, as you hear the choppers behind me loading up, they are stacked up off to the side here. they'll move in, fill up, but there's just not enough. and there is a big concern right now that frustration is beginning to boil over in the city. we've heard of some skirmishes over some of the food and water. we've also had a report that the
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largest semi-t largest cemetery in the capital city, a crowd had gathered there, ambulance drivers seeking to deliver more of the victims, the dead from this earthquake, were actually met with rocks and stones. they were stoned as they tried to deliver more of these victims. so, there's a real frustration building here, and there's a big concern that that's only going to get worse. >> okay. well, certainly, as desperation sets in, you can imagine how the reactions will, as well. all right, jay gray. thank you very much for that live report. >> reporter: you bet. >> our live "msnbc saturday" coverage extends past noon eastern as we will follow the events in the quake-ravaged haiti, so stay with us for more live reports on how the world is mobilizing to help those people. you're watching "msnbc saturday." we're back after a short break. ah, auto! sir? finding everything okay? i work for a different insurance company. my auto policy's just getting a little too expensive. with progressive, you get the "name your price" option, so we build a policy to fit your budget. wow! the price gun. ♪ ah! wish we had this.
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welcome back to msnbc's continuing coverage of the crisis in haiti. and just a few minutes ago, president obama announced that former presidents bill clinton
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and george w. bush will take charge in the fund-raising efforts for earthquake victims in haiti, and together, they will lead the clinton/bush haiti fund. meanwhile, later today, more than 2,000 marines from camp lejeune, north carolina, are scheduled to leave for the quake-ravaged country. according to the joint chiefs of staff, as many as 10,000 u.s. troops will be in haiti or right off its shores by monday. the military is helping to distribute aid to the many thousands of quake victims. and there are mounting security concerns in port-au-prince, as distribution problems continue to hamper getting the aid to survivors. joining me right now, retired army colonel and msnbc military analyst jack jacobs. good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. >> so, let's talk about what we're hearing. these isolated, we should say -- it's not rampant, but there are pockets of reports of gangs going through the streets. and we've seen some video of some wielding machetes. they get into something they want access to, they take it, looting starts or just a pandemonium free-for-all. what does the military do? how do they tackle this? >> well, they can't secure
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everything, and even 10,000 troops, half of them will probably be offshore, not enough to take care of the security requirements on shore. don't forget, we have to clear the airfield, clear and secure the roads from the airfield to the centers in port-au-prince and secure the areas around the encampments. there's no way the united states is going to be able to prevent looting, the gang violence and so on, which, by the way, we saw the last time we were in haiti. i'm afraid as conditions deteriorate -- and they will -- that violence is going to get more frequent and going to get worse. >> and you think that they're just going, our military men and women, i should say, you'd think they're going for a humanitarian mission, so they're safe. but the reality is, they have to operate under standard engagement rules, correct? which means self defense -- >> you've got to protect yourself, you've got to protect the force, you've also got to protect what you've been told to protect, and that includes all the supply stores, all the equipment that's coming in. don't forget, a lot of people are still buried under millions of tons of rubble. you're not going to be able to
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save them. the doctors are no good until you get those people out. you can't get them out until you can get the heavy equipment down there to remove thai stuff, and you've got to secure it all along the way. now, the requirements are to take care of yourself for sure, to take care of the equipment stores, but there's not going to be enough left over to take care of the population. >> colonel, when we think of the military, you think of them being trained in the rules of engagement in military and, you know, war-like settings. how is the military trained for operations like this? >> actually, very well trained. and certain units are better trained than the average. there are requirements that they each train for urban situations like this every year. and some of them who have been back and forth deployed to afghanistan and iraq have even more training, and those national guard units that have requirements in cities have contingency missions in cities in the united states have even more training than that. they're extremely well trained for situations like this. but unfortunately, the problem here is a humanitarian one, it's a logistical one.
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it's not necessarily a defense one. and until we get water, food -- don't forget, a lot of people are not inoculated. there's a real danger of that. there will be bigger problems than just security problems. >> you anticipated my next question and answered it. retired army colonel, msnbc analyst jack jacobs, thanks. in florida, vice president biden is visiting the haitian american community in miami, and nbc's kristen dahlgren is just south of miami in homestead, florida, on the air reserve base there. with a good morning to you, where is the vice president, and i understand, his wife, dr. jill biden, along for this trip, right? where are they? >> reporter: yeah, they are along with homeland security secretary janet napolitano. we are expecting them to arrive here any moment. they'll be walking the flight line here, talking to some of the relief workers who have been loading supplies being sent to haiti. and also, as jay mentioned earlier, this is where some of those evacuees are being brought, so they're helping with off-loading there. they'll walk along the flight
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line, talk to some of them, and then he plans to come inside here. as you can see, they're settle g i setting up for a news conference and he'll be making some statements and answering questions. earlier today, he met with haitian americans here. as you know, florida has the largest haitian american population in the country. and so, it was very important for the vice president to meet with them. he had a message, kind of echoing what the president said earlier, that this is a mission that doesn't have an end date. we're not talking about weeks and months of aid. this is going to be going on long after we've stopped talking about it on the news. so, that was his big message. the homeland security secretary also had a message for the haitian american population. as you know, yesterday they said that they would be granting temporary status to haitians here in the united states that were here undocumented or illegally for the next 18 months. that only applies to people who were here before the earthquake. and the message was very strong that it won't apply to anybody
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who comes here after. of course, a lot of people here believe that the situation in haiti is so difficult that we will soon see some type of mass exodus, people trying to get off the island and here to the united states, and her message was that trying to leave haiti will really disrupt the aid efforts. and so, a very strong message from her for people here not to encourage relatives to try to get to the united states. so, at this point here, we are waiting for the vice president. we'll try and bring you his remarks, ask him some questions, and we'll have more on that later, alex. >> okay. nbc's kristen dahlgren, thank for covering that and the vice president's efforts to bring reassurance and help to those people there in south florida. well, the earthquake in haiti could never have been predicted, but seismologists say they have made significant strides in identifying areas that could be struck by quakes in the next few decades. joining me now to talk about that, paul mann, senior research scientist at the university of texas's institute for geophysics. and a good morning to you, sir.
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>> thank you. good morning. >> well, i'm glad you're here. you know, if you're talking about california, that's par for the course, but with regard to this area in the caribbean, not necessarily the case when you think about earthquakes and the association there. how big a threat are earthquakes in that region? >> well, actually, the caribbean area is very similar to california in that they both share a certain type of fault, which we call strike slip faults. and what we have in the caribbean is the caribbean plate, which is a small plate bounded on its northern edge by this fault system that caused the haiti earthquake, and it's also banded on its southern edge by another strike slip system that goes from venezuela into colombia. so, this problem of strikes of fault isn't unique to haiti. it's actually shared by many countries in the caribbean area. in fact, 1976, guatemala
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earthquake killed 22,000 people. that fault is actually part of this same fault system, which caused the haiti earthquake. >> and does this particular fault system you talk about, does this extend up through, say if you were to go directly northward into the united states? is there a line that runs from where haiti was struck up that would affect residents here in the u.s.? >> no. this line, this fault line actually extends in an east-west direction. so, if you think of where haiti is located, go to the west towards jamaica, which is affected by the fault, go west towards honduras, guatemala and that area. all those areas are affected by the fault. but there's no sort of northward extension of this fault into the united states. >> now, paul, as you know, a couple of years ago, some geophysicists went to haiti, and they talked to the government about the possibility of an earthquake, and certainly, that kind of technology that was available to do that, it's also available here in the united
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states. but two years ago, there was no way to secure haiti. do we have any pockets that you worry about in a similar fashion here in the united states? >> i'm not sure i understand your question. you say pockets, do you mean -- >> well, in terms of, do you have areas -- i mean, haiti was absolutely devastated. the two years it did not give them enough time to build infrastructures that would be able to withstand earthquakes. are there areas here in the united states that you worry are sitting on fault lines that aren't properly reinforced? and if so, where are they? >> well, in the united states, the lower 48, there's really only one active plate boundary area, and that's on the west coast of the u.s. so, that would include the san andreas fault system in california and the northwest pacific area in sort of the seattle area. those areas are actually very well studied. the construction practices are
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very, very good. so, it's a much different situation in those active plate boundary areas than we have in haiti, where we understand what the fault systems are, we knew there was a big hazard. we talked about that in 2008. yet, remember the haitian government is trapped for money. they don't have the resources that we have here in the u.s. so, it's a much different situation. >> okay. well, we thank you for weighing in, paul mann, there from the university of texas. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> they may be divided politically, but they are united in a cause to rescue the people of haiti, and that is next in our continuing coverage of the crisis in haiti here on "msnbc saturday." ♪ walgreens invites you to stay well this new year. ♪ with the centers for disease control and prevention saying... that vaccination is still your best protection, walgreens and take care clinics... now offer h1n1 flu vaccinations... every day at our more than 7000 locations nationwide...
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january 20th marks the anniversary of president obama's inauguration, and what a difference a year makes. the president took office with approval ratings as high as 70%, but now a new poll finds just 39% of americans would vote to
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re-elect the president if the 2012 election was held today. 50% say they would vote for someone else. i'm joined now live by journalist and commentator steven a. smith. >> good morning, alex. >> what do you read into these numbers, steven? >> the american people are concerned. at the end of the day if you spend you'll have to get that money from somewhere and people don't want to hear that our grand children and great grandchildren will have to pay for the trillions of debt we're accumulating at this time. universal health care is nice, in a perfect world you'd want that. when the economy is what it is and more than 7 milli$7 million have lost jobs, when you take those things into consideration, if people don't have a means of paying their bills it's pretty difficult to think about health care when you're trying to think about surviving. >> you know, i know you participated in this special that we'll be airing on monday
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as martin luther king day, it's called obama's america, 2010 and beyond. in which we're looking to see that the challenges u.s. faces in regard to racial equality. now that we've got a year under our belt to reflect, what has changed in your view? >> what's changed is pretty much nothing. it's just gotten worse. basically what has happened, it's gotten worse. the fact is we're more polarized than ever before. on capitol hill we're more partisan than ever before. this is supposed to be the great unifier, that doesn't mean everything's been wrong about barack obama. please don't get me wrong. he's a wonderful individual, a wonderful human being who's heart is in the right place. but some of the policies he's talked about implementing has a lot left to be desired in terms of people wondering if he knows indeed what he's doing. when you have people trying to get jobs and trying to work and he seems not to be hearing that and instead focusing on cap and
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trade, focusing on universal health care, it was about health care but then ultimately about the health insurance companies. you talk about the health insurance companies robbing everybody but now trillions of dollars is being poured into that business devoid of tort reform. it seems nothing much is going to change and i think that's very, very disconcerting because it seems like a bunch of pomp and circumstance but nothing of substance really going on in the way of doing something favorable to the united states of america. >> trying to put this in a positive spin, steven, that may be what you take from the year 2009, but 2010, do you see the chance, the hope for change? do you see really concrete things in place that may effect the change you think is lacking? >> i think one of the positive elements is his heart. i do believe that his heart is in the right place. i think if you see some of these things change where the democrats don't have complete dominance in the house, in the senate and in the presidency and the president is now forced to cross along party lines, i think that move toward the center will
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ease the panic that is existing in this country. in terms of race relations, i mean obviously america is america. there's always racism but the reality is it's not as prevalent as it once was decades ago. you're looking at obama be, a lot of expectations have been placed on his shoulders. he's still only one man, it's not fair to put that all on his shoulders. we need to recognize indeed times will be better because americans have shown they're willing to have faith in somebody that looks different than 66% of this population. so in that way it will be a little bit positive but not if people are continuing to be unemployed. >> all right. steven a. smith, we'll see you as part of this special on monday night. >> yes, you will. >> msnbc's chris matthews and tom joyner will host the two-hour special, you can all watch "obama's america: 2010 and
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beyond" here on msnbc. we're getting word secretary of state hillary clinton has landed in haiti. coming up tamron hall will bring us more on that as we continue our coverage on the heartache of haiti. i'll be looking for you next week. have a good sunday, everyone. but pressure... and congestion. (announcer) you need a sinus medicine ooohhh... that rescues you from all three symptoms introducing new sudafed pe® triple action™. for more complete relief from the sinus triple threat. get more complete relief. with new sudafed pe® triple action™. also find sudafed® behind the counter.
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good saturday afternoon to you, i'm tamron hall. let's get right to the latest headlines coming out of haiti. we're getting word that secretary of state clinton has just arrived in that country. an amazing sight at the white house just an hour ago as three american presidents pledge their help to the ravaged country, as we wait to hear more about money being raised about an hour ago president obama announced former
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presidents george w. bush and bill clinton will team up to donate and help get in donations at